St Catherine's: Penwortham dad on the difference hospice care has made to his life - and his goal for 2023

“I’m really going to make the most of this Christmas and enjoy it as much as possible,because next Christmas isn’t promised to me.”
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A Penwortham dad living with life-shortening illnesses is determined to make this Christmas extra special for his family, and has credited St Catherine’s Hospice for enabling him to enjoy this time of year at home.

Scott Leadbetter shared his experience with the Lancashire Post earlier this year, and is speaking out again to thank the charity for supporting him to remain at home surrounded by his loved ones, while managing the symptoms of heart failure and lung condition COPD.

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Scott and Stacey Leadbetter at home in PenworthamScott and Stacey Leadbetter at home in Penwortham
Scott and Stacey Leadbetter at home in Penwortham
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“I’m really, really looking forward to Christmas this year,” he said.

“I’ll be at home with my wife Stacey and we’ll cook Christmas dinner together, and then we’ll be going to see her family in the evening for a games night. I’m excited for Boxing Day too when we’re having my family round including my grandchildren. I’m going to cook

a gammon and we’ll do a buffet and give the kids their presents.”

Bucket list

Former mechanic Scott is receiving palliative care from the St Catherine’s community nurses - the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team - and says they have given him the motivation to start ticking things off his bucket list, including going on holiday and learning to play the guitar.

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The dad-of-three and grandad-of-seven says: “Our St Catherine’s nurse told us about another charity for carers which helps people to do nice things for themselves, to spend quality time together, and we were able to have a few nights in a log cabin in the Lake District.

“I went in a hot tub for the first time in my life! And we went fishing which we’ve never done together before. We had a great time and it’s been one of our highlights of the year.”

"In denial”

He added: “Before St Catherine’s came into our lives, we were in denial and we couldn’t accept what was happening. It was like life was on hold and we were in turmoil, letting the condition control everything about our lives.

“But the hospice nurses have given me the inspiration to enjoy life again. They’ve helped me to focus on the here and now, to live for today. I’ve learnt to appreciate the small things in life and to be grateful for the positives.”

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He added: “I always feel more motivated when our nurse Emma has been round. She gives us both a bit of ‘oomph’ to enjoy life and make the most of the time we have.”

“I’m told that I probably don’t have years; it’s more likely to be months or even weeks,” Scott says.

“But I’ve defied the odds before and I’m determined to keep going. My mission was to get to Christmas and I’m feeling pretty good at the moment, so now my aim is to make it to my 50th birthday in August next year; I want to have the biggest party ever!”

Stacey, 35, a senior nursing assistant, said: “The minute Emma walks through the door, we’re all beaming. She just puts our mind at rest about a lot of things.

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"She rings the GP for us and gets medication sorted out, and it really takes the pressure off. It can be emotionally draining having to constantly ring people, and it makes such a difference having someone there to deal with it for you and take that pressure away.

"It means we can focus on doing nice things together and spending time with our family.”

How to support St Catherine's

If you would like to make a donation, visit or

call 01772 629171.

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